Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kombucha all over!

About 4 days ago I did some 2nd ferments with my kombucha. On the left is mango, next is strawberry mango, then blueberry ginger, and the last 2 are strawberry basil. I cannot wait to try each one! If anyone needs a scoby, I am starting over and have some every few weeks now. This is SO good!

Monday, September 5, 2016

More soap. And some flowers.

I made this soap yesterday. I put it in the freezer a few hours after I put it in the mold, hoping it wouldn't turn almost black the way this one usually does. It's Dragon's Blood, a fragrance oil blend.  Here is after cutting it last night.

And then this morning. It's already so dark. But smells amazing. This is a good seller for me.

This is a citrus soap I made Saturday. I love this one. It's got orange, lemon and lime EO's.

And Orange Clove made with Tazo Wild Orange tea and orange and clove EO's.

I was out in the garden yesterday evening while filling up the water trough. I noticed all these big beautiful zinnia flowers. They are SO pretty! The whole zinnia bed is looking good again with new and bigger blooms. I will pick some tomorrow for the market.

I have a number to call for a guy up the road who does tilling. I want my whole garden tilled so I can plant buckwheat and clover. Also need to plant kale and turnip greens.

There is a very different feel to the air these last few days around here. The mornings are so much cooler and also the nights. But the days are HOT! It even sounds different, with all the insects and birds. There were 2 birds out back this morning while I was hanging clothes. It sounds like they are saying "over here, over here, over here, over here" then the other one farther away will say the same thing. But they stay where they are. They never go over there.

I noticed the bees bringing in bright yellow pollen right now. I really need to see if I can harvest a little more honey from my big hive. Just need to find time in the afternoon to do it.

Y'all have a nice Monday and Labor Day!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Shearing the sheep again.

Today, the sheep shearer came. I have never had the sheep sheared twice a year before. But as hot as it's been, I just felt like they could use another shear before winter. Their wool had grown pretty long. So I called and they were able to come today.

I waited til they were almost here to get the sheep where I wanted them. But, they knew something was up. And they didn't want any part of it. They would not go where I had it all set up for them to be. A good sheep herding dog would have been great to have right about then. I got my 2 dogs, Bubba and Stella, thinking they might scare the sheep into the penned area. But they were absolutely worthless!

So I just waited. I had the feed trough over there with feed and good alfalfa hay in it. They all finally went in and I get the fence shut. All but Darla. She didn't want to go to this party. We did finally get her though.

This is Darla. I love this picture. Someone said it looked like she was smiling. I really don't think she was at all. If you could have seen these sheep, they were not happy about this at all. But I know that after it's all said and done, they are happy. And they all look SO much better without all that dirty hot wool on. They look so clean and white. Well, except Cameron. I love her without wool. She's so black.

But do you see an odd ball sheep here? I do. Next year, Amarillo will be the very first sheep to be caught and sheared!  She is absolutely crazy! She was the last sheep in the pen and she didn't want to be. I tolf the guys they should get her before they get Adalaide. But too late. Amarillo got out. Then she went right through the 16' welded wire cattle panel and took it with her. She bent that fence in half. And she went over onto her neck, which I thought she broke. We got her out and she took off for the hills! Crazy sheep!

So she is the only one who didn't get sheared. And she's messing up the whole clean look of the flock. Ugh!

This is Annabelle. Her wool is what I've been dyeing.

And Adalaide. Her wool is really not good. It's so kinky. I can use it for felting or dryer balls though. She looks so good sheared and cleaned.

And my favorite baby, Campbelle. She's the sweetest one of the whole bunch.

Then the crazy ewe. She really is crazy. And she's Campbelle and Cameron's mother. How are they so sweet and nice and their mother is crazy?

So, 7 more bags of wool to add to the 30 something bags here in my studio. Oh my goodness, when will I ever get all this wool cleaned, carded and spun?? I am having so much fun spinning alpaca now too. I'm spinning Misha's reddish-brown fiber and thinking I might just knit myself a sweater with it. I just might have to.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Some new pottery

I decided to take some newer pottery to the market yesterday. Had a lot of nice compliments. And someone bought a yarn bowl! I love this yellow. I've never used it before. I bought some half and half clay this time, so all the glazes will look totally different, without the specks. A more shiny smooth finish.

I really like doing these flowers. This is another yarn bowl. (Sorry it came up twice.)

And some taller mugs finally. I have 4 of these. And a little mixing bowl with a handle and spout.

These are all for sale, if anyone is interested.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dyeing wool with comfrey leaves.

Today, I dyed some of Annabelle's wool. It was about 200 grams. A friend gave me some comfrey leaves Tuesday and I picked a bunch from my own. I simmered them for several hours while I went to town. Got back and got the wool ready.

And this is the result. It looks yellow here, but it's not. It's a dull green color. I am not very impressed with it. I might be later after it's dried. Or after it's spun. We'll see.

(I put some of the white alpaca fiber next to the wool so you can see how it's not white any more. But it's not yellow.)


I can't have a hummingbird feeder anymore. This is what I found today. I almost cried. There are several bees inside drowning.  And I couldn't get it down because they were buzzing like crazed bees. So I had to wait til tonight to empty it. I tried to put feeders in the hives but the bees are all on the outside of the hives still. It was pretty warm today and still is. So maybe I  can get the feeders on tomorrow. I hate that so many bees drowned.